The Ups And Downs Of Togetherness And Independence When You're A Triplet

Jun 30, 2017
Originally published on June 30, 2017 8:09 am

Ten-year-old triplets Maddy, Zoë and Nick Waters share everything from a birthday to a bedroom. But in a StoryCorps booth in Bloomington, Ind., they discover — even as they finish each other's sentences — that there are still some things they needed to learn about each other.

For example, how they feel about being triplets. ("[I]t's really nice," Zoë says.) Or their strengths. ("[O]ur friends get extra friends because there's a three-in-one package," says Maddy.) Or whether they feel crowded in the house with, as Maddy says, "two siblings, two parents and three cats — and one cat in heaven." ("Not at all. Cats aren't very substantial," Nick says.)

In a few months they'll get three new, separate rooms. Nick says he's having mixed emotions. Zoë says she's "kind of happy," but at the same time, likes having her brother and sister to talk to.

For Maddy, the transition to more independence may be bumpy.

"I, myself, am not much for being alone. ... And since I've had you all my life, I've had two other friends even when I didn't have any friends. It's really been nice," she says. "I think having siblings my age gives me an open attitude toward life and people in general. And I just want to say you guys mean a lot to me and I want to thank you for being here."

Audio produced for Morning Edition by Liyna Anwar.

StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Why don't we call this a StoryCorps triple header? Recently, three people sat down together in a StoryCorps booth in Bloomington, Ind. Ten-year-old triplets Maddy, Zoe and Nick Waters share everything from a birthday to a bedroom. But they discovered there are still some things they don't know about each other.

MADDY WATERS: How do you guys feel about being triplets? Is it nice?

ZOE WATERS: Yeah, it's really nice.

NICK WATERS: Yeah, on the whole.

M. WATERS: The worst thing is we see each other every day - every minute of every day. So we can argue a lot.

N. WATERS: Yeah, and precisely because we know each other so well.

M. WATERS: It kind of makes for very long arguments.

N. WATERS: Yeah.

Z. WATERS: But it is a very rewarding experience.

M. WATERS: Yes, it is.

N. WATERS: Sometimes.

M. WATERS: It's just really helpful when one of us has a problem. Like, Nick's really good at math, and you're really good at reading comprehension.

Z. WATERS: We pool our...

MADDY WATERS, NICK WATERS AND ZOE WATERS: Resources.

M. WATERS: One of our greatest strengths is that our friends get extra friends because there's a three-in-one package.

Z. WATERS: But I'm a very quiet person on the whole. So I get kind of reserved and nervous when I'm meeting new people, especially.

M. WATERS: You're a little bit of an introvert, you'd say?

Z. WATERS: Maybe.

M. WATERS: Have you ever felt that the house is crowded because you have two siblings, two parents and three cats and one cat in heaven?

N. WATERS: Not at all. Cats aren't very substantial.

Z. WATERS: Not really.

M. WATERS: I've sometimes felt that way. But since we're getting new rooms in a couple months, we're going to be all by ourselves. How do you feel about that?

N. WATERS: Mixed emotions.

Z. WATERS: I don't know how I feel. I'm kind of happy. But I always enjoy having you two to talk to.

M. WATERS: Yeah. It's going to be a hard transition for me because I myself am not much for being alone.

N. WATERS: Yeah.

M. WATERS: And since I've had you all my life, I've had two other friends even when I didn't have any friends. It's really been nice.

Z. WATERS: Yeah. It's been so nice.

M. WATERS: I think having siblings my age gives me an open attitude toward life and people in general. I just wanted to say you guys mean a lot to me. And I want to thank you for being here.

(SOUNDBITE OF CARAVANA SONG, "SIGUE SUS OJOS")

GREENE: Adorable - deep thoughts from 10-year-olds and vocabulary of, like, 17-year-olds. My goodness. Ten-year-old triplets Maddy, Zoe and Nick Waters - they were chatting with each other at a StoryCorps booth in Bloomington, Ind. Their interview will be archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress and also featured on the StoryCorps Podcast.

(SOUNDBITE OF CARAVANA SONG, "SIGUE SUS OJOS") Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.